Friday, 29 March 2019
Saturday, 23 March 2019
Viking Sky suffered engine failure and rescue helicopters are evacuating people
A cruise ship with 1,300 passengers on board has sent out a mayday call after suffering an engine failure in heavy winds near Norway.
The ship, named Viking Sky, was drifting towards land when it let out the distress signal.
Helicopters have been evacuating people from the vessel amid high waves and strong winds.
It was later able to restart one engine, was anchored just over a mile from land and is no longer adrift.
Up to 90 passengers have been hoisted up one by one from the deck of the vessel and airlifted to a village located just north of the town of Molde on Norway's west coast.
One woman messaged family to let them know she had to be stretchered off the ship after heavy waves battered the ship and left her 'submerged underwater'.
The passenger said: 'A wave smashed a door open right behind us and we were submerged under water.
'We thought that was it and my knee has been damaged.
'I've been stretchered off which was just as scary.'
And rough seas have forced two rescue ships to turn back as even tugboats are not sure they will be able to reach the stricken cruise liner.
The stretch, named Hustadvika, is known as one of the most dangerous sections of the Norwegian coast with many shipwrecks in the region.
A spokesperson said: 'If we need to evacuate everyone, it will take a long time.'
The ship, built in 2017, belongs to Viking Ocean Cruises founded by Norwegian billionaire Torstein Hagen.
According to the company website, its passenger capacity is 930.
Several boats and four helicopters took part in the rescue and facilities to receive passengers have been set up on land.
But only 10 to 15 people can be taken per flight on emergency helicopters sent to airlift passengers to safety.
It is thought there are currently still more than 885 passengers on board.
The wind was blowing at a speed of 38 knots, police told Norwegian newspaper VG.
All search and rescue teams in the region are mobilising, including 60 volunteers from the Norwegian Red Cross, a spokesman said.
Viking's operational headquarters, located in Basel, Switzerland, did not respond when contacted by telephone.
Sunday, 17 March 2019
The Carnival Mardi Gras Will Feature New Stateroom Design
Thursday, 14 March 2019
Sunday, 10 March 2019
Thursday, 7 March 2019
Passengers Injured as Norwegian Escape Hit by ‘100 Knot Wind Gust’ Off U.S. East Coast
Wednesday, 6 March 2019
Cruise line promotions increase in number -- and complexity
Norwegian Cruise latest offering
One of the virtues of "123Go!," which was rolled out by Celebrity Cruises for Wave season six years ago, was its simplicity.
The promotion was as breezy as it sounded. Passengers could pick one of three free promotions when they booked a cruise. If they were going to Europe, they could pick two. That was it.
Whether it was the simplicity of the concept, or the value locked into the choices, or the idea of choice itself, the promotion struck a nerve. Agents cited it as the most successful offer of the Wave season in 2013, and Celebrity extended it until it became part of the line's standard offering.
Six years later, the promotions of the sort started by "123Go!" are ubiquitous. Nearly every sizeable line has its version.
It started when Celebrity decided to evolve "123Go!" into its 2015 successor campaign "Go Big, Go Better, Go Best." With this one there were four amenities, not three. And the number of amenities that could be chosen depended on the fare. And third and fourth passengers in the cabin could get a limited amount of internet minutes for free.
Today, there are a bewildering number of promotional packages for agents to keep track of, all with different terms, expiration dates, geographic applications, exceptions and combinability options.
"The promotions are very complex," observed veteran agency executive Dwain Wall. "Agents find the consumers are very confused."
Wall said some cruise lines have taken to spelling out the value of the various terms in their promotion as a result.
Norwegian Cruise Line, for example, has its "Take Six Free" offer, which dangles not three but six different amenities. More choice, more value, right? To be sure. But also more complexity.
In many of its ads, Norwegian puts price tags on the various options as a consumer service. An open bar is valued at $1,400. Free shore excursions: $200. A speciality dining package: $160 in savings; free Internet, $130.
The biggest and latest amenity to be added to the package is airfare, which Norwegian says is worth $600 to $1,900 in savings, depending. Depending on what? Well, you have to dig into the fine print to find out.
In many ways, an advisor's job is better with these promotions. Free add-ons make closing easier, more amenities broaden the appeal, and preserving or even boosting the fare helps increase commissions. Not to mention that the complexity helps reinforce the concept of an advisor as an indispensable consultant: Who better to comb through the various deals and amenities, walk the client through the options and find them the best combination?
But it should not be lost that in the process the promotions are no longer as simple as "123Go!."